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Jakarta Post

Fugitive Djoko Tjandra returns, files case review without AGO’s knowledge

  • Ghina Ghaliya
    Ghina Ghaliya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 29, 2020   /   07:23 pm
Fugitive Djoko Tjandra returns, files case review without AGO’s knowledge Djoko Tjandra stands trial for his involvement in the Bank Bali graft case. He was convicted of misusing Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support (BLBI) funds. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra, a fugitive in the high-profile Bank Bali corruption case, returned to the country and filed a case review against his conviction with the South Jakarta District Court in early June, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) has said.

The graft convict was scheduled to attend his own case review submission hearing at the court on Monday, Attorney General ST Burhanuddin said. Djoko did not appear.

Burhanuddin told members of House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs in a hearing on Monday that the AGO was tracking down the fugitive.

Burhanuddin said the office had not received any information about Djoko's arrival in the country before learning that he had come to the South Jakarta District Court on June 8 to file his case review.

He said Djoko had reportedly been in Indonesia for the past three months.

"Honestly, this is a result our intelligence weaknesses. That's the fact. I asked the court, and they said [the case review] was filed through an integrated service that had no identity control," he said in the hearing.

He said the AGO would discuss the issue with the Immigration Office to establish the details of the graft convict's arrival in Indonesia. Burhanuddin believed that Djoko should not have been able to enter the country freely because of his status as a fugitive.

The AGO has been hunting for Djoko for years – but to no avail. Burhanuddin said he had previously received information that Djoko had been spotted in Malaysia and Singapore.

Burhanuddin said he had instructed his officers to immediately arrest Djoko as he was expecting him to come to the hearing on Monday. "We've been looking for him for three days, but we haven’t found him yet."

Read also: President weighs in on Djoko Tjandra saga

Djoko was involved in the Bank Bali scandal, which saw hundreds of billions of rupiah embezzled from state bailout funds for the 1998 Asian financial crisis. He was acquitted in 2000 but later convicted in 2009 after the AGO filed a request for review.

The Supreme Court convicted both Djoko and former Bank Indonesia governor Syahril Sabirin and sentenced them to two years' imprisonment each for misusing Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support (BLBI) funds in the case. The court ordered Djoko to pay Rp 546 billion (US$54 million) in restitution to the state for illegally disbursing the funds to the bank in 1999.

Djoko, however, fled Indonesia on a chartered flight from Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in Jakarta to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG) on June 10, 2009, just a day before the Supreme Court issued its verdict on the AGO's request for review.

Then-PNG Ambassador to Indonesia Peter Ilau confirmed on July 12, 2009, that Djoko had obtained PNG citizenship.

The AGO suspected that Djoko had falsified legal documents when applying for PNG citizenship, as Djoko was a fugitive and would have concealed information during his application process.

Indonesia has no extradition treaty with PNG.

South Jakarta District Court spokesperson Suharno confirmed to that Djoko had not attended the hearing on Monday. He had reportedly claimed to be sick.